Tag Archives: Ontario

(1235) Industry Street

Daniel Rotszstain wrote recently about the way several non-profit agencies have arranged themselves in what was once a manufacturing area in Toronto.  They can’t afford the central city and there’s needs in the older suburbs.
Urban planners: please pay attention to this.
How a strip of warehouses became a community hub.
Low rents and large buildings have drawn not-for-profit organizations and new life to Industry Street in the former
city of York
theglobeandmail.com

(1234) On the lighter side…


”Action is what matters.” -Gene Simmons, 2017

Two comic efforts at understanding North American economic reality brought some laffs to the suburban-poverty.com bunker complex this week.  Unintentionally hilarious, but no less instructive for that, is a hot new self help book from KISS front man Gene Simmons. The second, a sharp strike from Rick Mercer.
To understand Gene’s book, picture an elevator shaft as black as On Power’s faux leather cover at the bottom.  Ayn Rand chugs a mickey of rye whiskey on an empty stomache, takes two or three hits off a crack pipe and tosses herself down the elevator shaft.
Mercer’s rant about Ontario’s coming move to a higher minimum wage is a little more to our liking.  Together, the two efforts tackle powerful myths about life here.
editor’s note: let’s give Gene props for urging us to read books and self educate.  He’s right, there are no excuses when all the knowledge of the world is available to us on the screens in our hands.

(1228) GTA income & equality update

For low income neighbourhoods to increase from 9% of a place to  51% of a place is a pretty crap reality.  Welcome to Brampton and Mississauga, once showpieces of growth and consumer choice.  Really, if you know anything about social conditions here the update to a 2015 United Way report will not surprise you.
Toronto region becoming more divided along income lines
thestar.com
And oh boy, the reports are never in short supply for long.  From late September: word about older citizens and others in food difficulty.
Who’s Hungry in Our City? 2017
North York Harvest & Daily Bread Food Bank
Not working isn’t the cause of all this.  In case you were wondering about 60% of those in poverty in Canada are in work.
Canadians for Public Justice 2017 Poverty Trends
cpj.ca

(1225) Unaffordable Mississauga


A draft policy document has been released by the City of Mississauga regarding housing affordability.  Basically, the middle class can’t handle it here any more, at least not via wages alone.
Not expecting this to become a big spend ticket soon and even a reasonably well off municipality cannot go it alone on the affordable housing file.  Thing is, those middle class workers presumably still have some role to play in the economy.  If they aren’t going to be hard pressed, stressed out and even driven off by the cost of housing then something will have to be done.
The middle class can no longer afford housing in Mississauga
insauga.com

(1223) Edwardian Toronto


Toronto’s Edwardian past is still here in much of the street grid and through older built structures.  Unfortunately, you could say the way many a Torontonian lives right now is Edwardian.
Minimum-wage earners in Toronto do not make enough money to thrive. Report finds that residents need more than double what they earn on minimum wage, and that social policies need to be adjusted to meet the needs to present-day society
image: Daniel Varas via Flickr/CC

 

(1220) Ontario basic income challenges


Ontario’s basic income pilot program moves forward and real world details accumulate about it.  This is the hard work part, turning a theoretical schema into a reality.
Again, with variations of this hideous term ‘free money’ which The Star ought to know better than to use because it is so biased towards the right leaning critique of basic income.
Handing out money for free harder than it looks. Ontario began issuing basic income cheques in July, but reaching eligible participants has been a challenge
thestar.com

(1214) Bagels & Bentleys: undercover with the temps


Upton Sinclair’s The Jungle meets Barbara Ehrenreich’s Nickel and Dimed in today’s Toronto Star. The paper sent a writer to work at a large industrial bakery in Toronto recently.  Her findings should shock us.
Wages are low.  The pace is fast.  Safety is a hit-and-miss affair in a profitable establishment making bread products for corporate clients.  There has been loss of life at the plant where most of the workers are female newcomers.  Their employer has received grants, loans and praise from the government.  The Workplace Safety and Insurance Board gives them rebates.  Through their lawyer the owners say that safety is important.
Temps pick their wages up in cash at a payday lending office thirty-five minutes away by bus.  Their employer drives a Bentley and lives in a mansion.
On Twitter alone, mentions of this feature have grown steadily all day.  This feature deserves a wide audience and is exactly the kind of reportage the Star should be coming up with.
Undercover in temp nation